Meet Phyllis

"CHANA makes you feel like you are coming into the home you wish you grew up in."

During the summer before I turned 30, I began having memories of being sexually abused by an older cousin. The abuse went on from the time I was three until I was 14. I’m 60 now. I have PTSD. Getting over childhood abuse is a lifelong endeavor.

I’ve been part of a support group at CHANA for the past three years. It’s been wonderful. It’s magical being around people who have experienced what I’ve experienced and understand. The group leader – Laura Greer – knows about trauma. She is so loving, kind and generous.

A while back, I was sexually accosted again, in the elevator where I live. I brought charges against the guy, and CHANA supported me. They gave me a court advocate who went to court with me three times. Because of what I went through, Jacke Schroeder, the director of CHANA’s SAFE (Stop Abuse of Elders) Program, offered me the opportunity to testify before the Maryland State House and Senate about the need for services for intervention and prevention of elder abuse.

I thought and I debated about whether I was ready to step out in front of the community. But ultimately I realized, I had nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of. When I testified the first time it was very scary. I was so nervous that I was shaking. The second time it was no big deal. I felt heard by the committee members.

I’ve availed myself of the services of CHANA for all of these things. Coming to CHANA feels like coming into the home where you wish you grew up. It’s full of love and support and the people really care.

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